Monday, April 23, 2018

CARA Exhibit and Alicia Gaspar de Alba

This week, through our reading and from the guest lecture by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, we learned about the CARA exhibition and both its significance and its troubles. This exhibition was the first of its kind as it was a traveling exhibition that showecased the works of over 100 Chicano/a artists and was the first exhibition of its kind to get press from the mainstream media. The purpose of this exhibit was to be as inclusive as possible and show the works from Chicano/a artists of all walks of life. This exhibition, although its aim was to promote inclusivity and give a voice to all chicanos/as, it was actually extremely unequal and biased in its presentation. Alicia Gaspar de Alba talks about this in her chapter and also in the guest lecture she gave to class. Chicana artists were severely underrepresented in this exhibit, with a hundred more Chicano artists being shown than Chicana artists. Not only were women completely underrepresented in this exhibit, but the manner in which the women that were shown were displayed also further feeds into the patriarchal ideas of the Chicano movement. The room in which the Chicana artists were displayed was sandwiched between two other exhibits, essentially continuing the narrative that the women are tied to the past and future of the movement because of their biological purposes in society. It seems that even in movements in which there is a lot of discourse about letting everyone have a voice and overturning oppression and discrimination that there needs to be a little of that applied introspectively to ensure that this political movement is inclusive and serves the whole community, not just the dominant group.
    I was very intrigued by Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s talk, she brought up a lot interesting questions that I think a lot of people do not really consider. One thing I thought was interesting was when she was asking the class if we consider ourselves to be “feminist” or people who are “queer advocates.” One of the guys in the class, I’m not sure of his name, but he mentioned that he does consider himself a feminist but doesn’t feel comfortable saying that because he said that he didn’t believe that it was a space that was created for him. I think this is really interesting to hear a guy admit this and I think a lot of men probably feel the same way. While yes, I think as a movement maybe it seems like it does belong to women, I think we need men to be advocates of the feminist movement because if we don’t have men as advocates, women will be running into the same struggles for equality again and again.

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